So I get this...I'm a morning person. No joke, my body naturally wakes up at 4:45 - 5 AM EVERY morning – whether it's a weekday, weekend, or vacation day! So, morning routines come more naturally to me. Why even listen to me about mornings then?!
Well, I know from experience that having a great morning routine can make all the difference in being productive, achieving goals, feeling organized, and doing all of this with confidence.
Particularly as a leader, the development of a solid morning routine can be a game-changer in terms of productivity and ultimately, success. We must remember, as women, we are leaders of our lives (career, homes, relationships) and we must give ourselves the best opportunity for feeling confident and productive each day.
Creating a morning routine is not focused on who can accomplish the most or check off more boxes than everyone else (although that is fun!) - it is about allowing yourself to begin your day with confidence, peace, and a positive attitude. Starting the day this way can allow us to effectively complete tasks and to handle things that come our way without constantly feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Here are a few of the things I do to make sure my mornings are intentional so my days are productive:
1. WAKE UP AND TELL YOURSELF SOMETHING POSITIVE
Even if you've had a bad night of sleep, make sure you wake up with a positive thought. For example, I usually tell myself, "You're a happy wife and mom. They love you and God loves you". Simple right? You'd be amazed at how those simple words, spoken early, start things off on the right foot.
2. JOURNAL / DEVOTIONS / STILLNESS
Many of us women and type A personalities have tons of thoughts running through our minds. We have to learn to settle them and make sense of them on a daily basis. Take 5-30 min to write down anything that comes to your mind. (Note: this depends on your schedule - sometimes my kiddos get at me early and I have to wait until after everyone is fed breakfast before starting this activity).
Let’s be real: sometimes our thoughts include what groceries need to be purchased. Sometimes there are thoughts are of fear, or of joy. Then, take the next step and meditate over those thoughts. Those thoughts need to be released so you can go on with your day in peace. Many times, as women, we take on too much.
Stress is caused by US. Yep, I said it. I've found that when I write these thoughts out, hand them over, and review them from the day before, I'm more at peace for the day to come. Most of the time, the thoughts from the day before didn't even have a huge impact on what actually happened that day!
So take the time to be still. Enter peace. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive you are.
3. DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD
For me, this looks like making sure I get my workout in. My family knows that I need to complete my workout so I'll be a nicer person! It's part self-care, part setting an example of a healthy lifestyle - and it definitely helps me to be successful.
Working out doesn't have to be anything crazy. Take a walk. Do yoga. Try an at-home workout program. Go to the gym. It gets your blood flowing, warms up your body, and gets your mind going.
Then, my favorite part: eat a nutrient-dense breakfast and have my coffee (both of which I have set up and ready the night before). Those things together make me feel really good and ready to conquer the day!
4. REPEAT KIND AND GRATEFUL THOUGHTS TO YOURSELF AND OTHERS
This is easier said than done as we encounter stressful and chaotic situations at home and work, right? What I do to help is to write out these kind and grateful phrases on note cards, then place them around my home, in my car, and on my desk. I've been known to also set timers in my phone and put those phrases in the subject line as a quick reminder.
Start with the end in mind: You know where you are and how your days usually go... where do you want to be? Having a plan will help you know exactly what you need to do, so that you have the best chance of crossing the finish line.
The worries of the day often swallow up our time and energy....but only if we let them! Take care of yourself first thing in the morning and you'll see how your day will change for the better! As we start each day fresh, we can better focus on what is in front of us, where to prioritize our time, and, ultimately, see an increase in our productivity!
If you want to take a deeper dive on how to set your mornings up for success, check out Episode 12 of the Your Career Story podcast – The Morning Formula You Need to Increase Productivity!
Vennessa is an executive career and business coach helping leaders leverage their innate strengths to increase their impact, while overcoming burnout. Read more from Vennessa at vennessaMcConkey.com
The Importance of a Morning Routine and Getting Ahead
February 6, 2020